Malaysia to open ‘almost all’ economic sectors from May 4

PUTRAJAYA (CNA) – Most economic sectors in Malaysia will open from May 4 with health protocols in place, said Malaysia’s Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin in his Labour Day message.

In a speech yesterday, Muhyiddin said, “With advice from the Ministry of Health, based on data collected, and protocol outlined by the World Health Organization (WHO), the government has decided to open its economic sectors carefully, while implementing stringent health standard operating procedures (SOP).”

“Almost all economic sectors and business activities will be allowed to operate from May 4, depending on protocols and SOP decided by authorities.”

However, Muhyiddin explained that some industries and business activities will remain closed as they involve mass gatherings, and where social distancing is difficult to enforce. These includes cinemas, karaoke lounges, reflexology centres, Ramadhan bazaars, Hari Raya Aidilfitri bazaars, sale carnivals as well as all conferences and exhibitions.

Furthermore, sports activities that involve body contact and mass gatherings will also not proceed. These include football, rugby, swimming in public areas and all indoor sports.

Meanwhile, outdoor activities such as badminton, tennis, cycling, golf and running in small groups with not more than 10 people, will be permitted.

Describing this as the “conditional movement control order (MCO)”, Muhyiddin added that restaurants, with enough space to ensure social distancing between customers, will also be allowed to open.

However, he maintained that religious activities such as Friday prayers and other prayers in congregation in mosques will not be permitted.

Interstate travel, including to return to hometowns for the upcoming Aidilfitri celebration, is not allowed, he added.

Muhyiddin also said that schools and institutions of higher learning will remain closed.

“A full list of activities that are prohibited will be reflected on the National Security Council website,” he said.

“The list will be reviewed from time to time depending on the number of COVID-19 cases,” he added.

The MCO, enforced since March 18 and extended for three times until May 12, is aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19 in Malaysia.

As of yesterday, there are a total of 6,002 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Malaysia, of whom 4,171 or 69.5 per cent have been discharged.